Like most people, I try to save money on groceries. This brings me to my love/hate relationship with coupons. It’s a game I play with myself every week – I read the Sunday paper flyers, take out my scissors and clip any coupon that is for a product I already use or want to try. My plan is this will help me save money on groceries. I sort them and put them in my coupon file, which my husband jokes is my ‘good intentions file’. But those coupons never seem to make it into my car when I head out the door to do grocery shopping. Or if I do remember, most of them have already expired, so I spend yet even more time going through the bulging file, tossing out more than half of them, if not every single one.
But I really focused on where I am spending my time and I started to think about how much time I invest in cutting out coupons, only to never use them. I have better things to do, but I still really want to save money on groceries.
So I decided to cut something else instead of coupons and, with a few changes to my approach to food shopping, I started cutting out the guilt by doing three simple things to save money on groceries:
- I stopped throwing out the grocery store sales fliers. Once I began to actually look at what was on special, I was able to put more ‘on sale’ items onto my list to insure that I was really leveraging the stores specials.
- I actually started thinking about what to make for dinner for the week. My mom was a real pro at this one, so I knew it could be done. She fed 9 kids and a hungry husband 7 nights a week and really worked to go to the store only once per week. By thinking about what she wanted to make each week, she had a game plan. She picked 2 nights per week that were somewhat fixed. Saturdays we always had baked beans and ham, and Sunday nights was ‘every man for themselves’ with a random selection based on what was leftover in the fridge.
- I stopped going to the store without a plan and a detailed list. I realized that I spend more money when I am wandering aimlessly through the grocery store without a plan. With a pen and list in hand (or following the list on my phone) I can stay focused on the most important items and can avoid the temptation to overbuy or get drawn in by impulse buys that I may never use. And, knowing that I have everything I need to make my targeted dinners, I am saving time getting the dinners on the table to get the dinners on the table quickly
These are the same three concepts that are the heart of The Dinner Daily. We create weekly plans customized to each member’s food preferences and that use what’s on sale. These days, I spend a lot less time wandering the aisles trying to figure out what to make for dinner that is easy, delicious and isn’t spending more money than necessary. I’m saving time, not overspending and I’m only going once per week, which also saves me gas. That’s nothing to feel guilty about!
Interested in finding out how easy it can be to save money and eat better? Learn more about The Dinner Daily or on the button below to try out our easy and simplified approach to saving money on groceries. No coupon cutting required!